Types of Universities in Germany: German University System


German term English term Meaning Additional info
Hochschule Higher education institution A general term for all higher education institutions, i.e. all three university types Colloquially, Hochschule is often used to talk about UAS only
Universität (Uni) (Research driven) university Term for one of the three university types: More theory-driven university Colloquially, Uni is often used as a general term to talk about all university types
Technische Universität (TU) Technical university Sub-type of a research-driven university: Focus on the STEM subject group Check out this article to learn more about technical universities in Germany
Pädagogische Hochschulen (PH) University of education Sub-type of a research-driven university: Focus on educational and pedagogical subjects Many PHs were integrated into regular universities. Today, you find PHs in the state of Baden-Württemberg
Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW)/Fachhochschule (FH) University of applied sciences (UAS) Term for one of the three university types: More practical oriented university Both terms are used interchangeably. HAW was introduced to reflect the equality of UAS and universities after the Bologna reforms in 1999
Technische Hochschulen (TH) Technical university of applied sciences Sub-type of the university of applied sciences: Focus on the STEM subject group The RWTH Aachen is a research-driven university but carries the term TH in its name. In other cases, TH denotes universities of applied sciences
Duale Hochschulen Dual studies institution Offer a combination of vocational training and academic education This subtype developed out of vocational academies (German: Berufsakademie), which reveals its dedication to the professional training of its students

Source: My German University

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